Cell Phones and Mud Puddles

We’ve had a few interesting events surface over the last week or two with candidates at interviews with clients.  For those of you that remember The Untouchables, a movie from the late 80’s, you might recall “bringing a knife to a gun fight.”  This blog is a reminder that cell phones and mud puddles are not a good match at an interview.

Put the cell phone away.  There is absolutely, positively, no reason at all to have your cell phone on the table or in your pocket at an interview.  A candidate was interviewing for a role in New York and her cell phone was vibrating with text messages.  The candidate let the client know that a number of her friends were checking in with her to see how the interview was going.  Please…leave it in the car, your purse, your hotel, etc.  Or simply turn it off.

Now onto shoes.  A client had a great video conference interview with a candidate located in Seattle for an analyst role in San Francisco.  The video interview went so well that the client invited the candidate to fly to San Francisco for an in-person interview.  The client informed us that he really liked the candidate but…the candidate showed up at the client’s office with shoes that looked like he had walked through a mud puddle.  This candidate had a nice career history, including a stint with a Big 4 firm and a well-known real estate firm.  But his shoes were another story.

Our “shoe” candidate…not hired.  Our “cell phone” candidate…too early to know.  Learn from their experiences.  Turn off your cell phone.  Polish your shoes.  Don’t come up with a reason for an employer to not consider you for a career opportunity.